By Judd Cain, Executive Vice President, Managed Services.
Can you spot the key word in this definition?
“Managed Services is the proactive management of an IT asset or object, by a third party typically known as a MSP, on behalf of a customer. The operative distinction that sets apart a MSP is the proactive delivery of their service, as compared to reactive IT services, which have been around for decades.” International Association of Cloud & Managed Services Partners
Okay so that was easy. It’s “proactive” – an obvious thing to mention from an IT perspective.
But is the proactive management of radio systems something you’d typically associate with Managed Services? Probably not.
We’ve been in the critical communications solutions industry for more than 40 years and we’re seeing a big change that’s affecting both radio systems and IT: they’re coming together.
The demographic of radio system technicians is changing; the capabilities of mobile radio is changing; the span of networks that radio systems integrate with is changing.
No longer is radio a specialized area, detached and distinct. It’s increasingly becoming an area of IT. With retiring radio techs, broadband data joining voice traffic on radio frequencies and cyber security issues, radio systems are morphing into information technology systems.
This may be a contentious point to make, but there’s a gap between radio and IT that’s growing bigger every day.
And that’s why we believe Managed Services can play a vital role in supporting critical communications systems: it plugs that gap.
Organizations that rely on critical communications want to be able to trust a managed service partner to manage their system to a guaranteed level of performance, leaving them to focus on their core business; more cops on the street and more linesmen keeping the power on. Solving problems before they become problems…
But Managed Services has more to offer than that, which brings us back to “proactive”.
The network monitoring, performance management and asset management elements that combine to provide a managed service give organizations access to data – or rather, intelligence – that can transform their operations.
For utilities, it can anticipate network events and prevent them from happening, mitigating system downtime and “keeping the lights on”. In a public safety sense, this could mean crime prevention and even saved lives.
So while there are clear IT parallels, Managed Services isn’t just about technology at all. It’s really about people. People who have a genuine insight of how an organization’s business, IT and radio objectives are interwoven and can understand how to use them together to support safer and more resilient communities.